Mission Impossible (film series)

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Mission: Impossible is a series of American action spy films based on and a follow-on from the television series of the same name created by Bruce Geller. The series is mainly produced by and stars Tom Cruise, whose character is Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). The films have been directed, written, and scored from various filmmakers and crew, while incorporating musical themes from the original series by Lalo Schifrin.

Starting in 1996, the films (taking place starting six years after the events of the previous TV sequel series) follow the missions of the IMF’s main field team under the leadership of Hunt to stop an enemy force all the while preventing an impending global disaster. The series focuses on Hunt as the lead character as opposed to the ensemble cast structure of the television series, although some characters, such as Luther Stickell (played by Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (played by Simon Pegg) have recurring roles in the films.

The series has received a positive reception from critics and audiences alike, and is the 16th-highest-grossing film series of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $3.5 billion to date, and is often cited as one of the best action franchises to date. The sixth and most recent film, titled Mission: Impossible – Fallout, was released on July 27, 2018. Two upcoming films, with the titles Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, respectively, are scheduled to be released on July 14, 2023 and June 28, 2024.

All of the Mission: Impossible films are co-produced and released by Paramount Pictures and are rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association.


mission impossible Films

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Status
Mission Impossible May 22, 1996 Brian De Palma David Koepp and Robert Towne David Koepp and Steven Zaillian Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner Released
Mission Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 John Woo Robert Towne Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga
Mission Impossible III May 5, 2006 J. J. Abrams J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Mission Impossible
– Ghost Protocol
December 16, 2011 Brad Bird Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk
Mission Impossible
– Rogue Nation
July 31, 2015 Christopher McQuarrie Christopher McQuarrie Christopher McQuarrie and Drew Pearce Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger
Mission Impossible
– Fallout
July 27, 2018 Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Christopher McQuarrie and Jake Myers
Mission Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part One
July 14, 2023 Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie Post-production
Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part Two
June 28, 2024 Filming

Mission Impossible (1996)

Ethan Hunt is framed for the murder of his IMF team during a botched mission in Prague and accused of selling government secrets to an arms dealer known only as “Max”. On the run, Ethan seeks to uncover the real traitor and clear his name.

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Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

Ethan goes back in action and works with professional thief Nyah Nordoff-Hall (Thandiwe Newton). The duo go undercover to stop rogue IMF agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) (who is also Nyah’s former lover) from stealing a deadly virus, starting a pandemic, and selling the antidote to the highest bidder.

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Mission Impossible III (2006)

Ethan is engaged to Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), who is unaware of his true job. He assembles a team to face the elusive arms and information broker Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who intends to sell a mysterious dangerous object known as “The Rabbit’s Foot”.

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Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Ethan and the entire IMF are blamed for the bombing of the Kremlin while investigating an individual known only as “Cobalt” (Michael Nyqvist). He and three other agents are left to stop him from starting a global nuclear war.

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Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Ethan Hunt comes under threat from the Syndicate. Faced with the IMF’s disbandment, Hunt assembles his team for their mission to prove the Syndicate’s existence and bring the organization down by any means necessary.

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Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)

When an IMF mission to recover plutonium ends badly, the world is faced with the threat of the Apostles, a terrorist organization formed by former members of the Syndicate. As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill the original mission, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.

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Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)

In January 2019, it was announced that both a seventh and an eighth Mission: Impossible were in development, with Christopher McQuarrie set to return as both writer and director of both films. Reportedly filmed back-to-back,[2][3] the seventh film was originally scheduled for release on July 23, 2021, before being delayed to November 19, 2021, May 27, 2022,[6] September 30, 2022,and July 14, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September 2019, McQuarrie announced via his Instagram account that Hayley Atwell had joined the cast for both films, which was later confirmed by the actress. Two months later, the director also revealed the involvement of Pom Klementieff and in late December Shea Whigham was confirmed as a cast member for the two upcoming movies. In January 2020, McQuarrie further announced that Nicholas Hoult had also joined the cast and Simon Pegg confirmed his return as Benji later the same month.

In February 2020, McQuarrie announced that Henry Czerny would reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film, whilst Vanessa Kirby confirmed her return as Alanna / White Widow. Due to scheduling conflicts, Hoult was replaced by Esai Morales for both films. Similarly, Angela Bassett was originally going to appear in the film, but was later removed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024)

An eighth Mission: Impossible film was announced to be in development in January 2019, set to be written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie and filmed back-to-back with the seventh film. It was scheduled to be released on August 5, 2022, but was later delayed to November 4, 2022, and then to July 7, 2023, then to June 28, 2024, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hayley Atwell joined the cast in September 2019, followed by Pom Klementieff and Shea Whigham. In January 2020, Nicholas Hoult and Simon Pegg were also announced to be appearing in the film, but Hoult was later replaced by Esai Morales in both films due to scheduling conflicts.

In February 2020, it was announced that Henry Czerny and Vanessa Kirby would return as Eugene Kittridge and the White Widow, respectively. In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that the film will no longer be filmed back-to-back with the seventh film. Filming began shortly after production wrapped on the seventh film. It was announced that both the 7th and 8th films will be a send-off to Ethan Hunt.

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Cast and crew


List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the Mission Impossible film series.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character’s official presence has not yet been confirmed.
Character Films
Mission: Impossible Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
– Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible
– Rogue Nation
Mission: Impossible
– Fallout
Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part Two
Ethan Hunt Tom Cruise
Luther Stickell Ving Rhames
Eugene Kittridge Henry Czerny Henry Czerny
The Contact Andreas Wisniewski Andreas Wisniewski
Benji Dunn Simon Pegg
Julia Meade Michelle Monaghan Michelle Monaghan
William Brandt Jeremy Renner
Ilsa Faust Rebecca Ferguson
Solomon Lane Sean Harris
Alan Hunley Alec Baldwin
Alanna Mitsopolis
White Widow
Vanessa Kirby
Claire Phelps Emmanuelle Béart
Jim Phelps Jon Voight
Franz Krieger Jean Reno
Sarah Davies Kristin Scott Thomas
Jack Harmon Emilio Estevez
Hannah Williams Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė
Max Mitsopolis Vanessa Redgrave
Nyah Nordoff-Hall Thandiwe Newton
Sean Ambrose Dougray Scott
Billy Baird John Polson
Hugh Stamp Richard Roxburgh
John C. McCloy Brendan Gleeson
Dr. Nekhorvich Rade Šerbedžija
Mission Commander
Anthony Hopkins
Owen Davian Philip Seymour Hoffman
Declan Gormley Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Zhen Lei Maggie Q
John Musgrave Billy Crudup
Lindsey Farris Keri Russell
Theodore Brassel Laurence Fishburne
Jane Carter Paula Patton
Kurt Hendricks Michael Nyqvist
Sabine Moreau Léa Seydoux
Marius Wistrom Samuli Edelmann
Anatoly Sidorov Vladimir Mashkov
Trevor Hanaway Josh Holloway
IMF Secretary Tom Wilkinson
Janik Vinter Jens Hultén
Atlee Simon McBurney
UK Prime Minister Tom Hollander
Erica Sloane Angela Bassett
August Walker
John Lark
Henry Cavill
Erik Wes Bentley
Grace Hayley Atwell


Crew Film
Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible 2
Mission: Impossible III
Mission: Impossible
– Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible
– Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible
– Fallout

Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part One

Mission: Impossible
– Dead Reckoning Part Two

Executive producer(s) Paul Hitchcock Terence Chang
Paul Hitchcock
Stratton Leopold Jeffrey Chernov
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Paul Schwake
Jake Myers David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
Brian Oliver
Bradley J. Fischer
Valerii An
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
Composer Danny Elfman Hans Zimmer Michael Giacchino Joe Kraemer Lorne Balfe
Editor(s) Paul Hirsch Christian Wagner
Steven Kemper
Maryann Brandon
Mary Jo Markey
Paul Hirsch Eddie Hamilton
Cinematographer Stephen H. Burum Jeffrey L. Kimball Dan Mindel Robert Elswit Rob Hardy Fraser Taggart


Box office performance

Film Release Date Budget Box Office Gross All Time Ranking References
Domestic International Worldwide Domestic Worldwide
Mission Impossible May 22, 1996 $80 million $180,981,856 $276,714,503 $457,696,359 254 244
Mission Impossible 2 May 24, 2000 $125 million $215,409,889 $330,978,216 $546,388,105 180 181
Mission Impossible III May 5, 2006 $150 million $134,029,801 $263,820,211 $397,850,012 453 298
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol December 16, 2011 $145 million $209,397,903 $485,315,477 $694,713,380 191 121
Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation July 31, 2015 $150 million $195,042,377 $487,671,890 $682,714,267 220 123
Mission Impossible – Fallout July 27, 2018 $178 million $220,159,104 $570,956,000 $791,115,104 163 88
Total $828 million $1,155,020,930 $2,415,456,297 $3,570,477,227

Critical and public response

The Mission Impossible film series has received generally positive reviews, with the later three being acclaimed. Praise has been directed towards its cinematography, action sequences, stunts, musical score, and acting.

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Mission Impossible 66% (62 reviews) 59 (29 reviews) B+
Mission Impossible 2 57% (154 reviews) 59 (40 reviews) B
Mission Impossible III 71% (224 reviews) 66 (42 reviews) A−
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol 93% (251 reviews) 73 (47 reviews) A−
Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation 94% (326 reviews) 75 (46 reviews) A−
Mission Impossible – Fallout 97% (437 reviews) 86 (60 reviews) A

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Author: Mohammed A Bazzoun

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